Mcintosh 501 monoblocks vs. 402

Hi. I am struggling on which to buy. Paul Seydor from The Absolute Sound has a 402 mated to a c46 preamp and has chosen the 402 as his refernce amp. He went on to say that he has compared the 402/c46 to amp/preamp combos costing 35k and has compared the 402 to amps costing north of 30k and preferred the mc gear. My question is this; what are the specific sonic differences between the 501's and the 402? I have heard a few people say that the 402 is a bit more transparent, with highs and midrange that are a bit more airy, with the 501's having a bigger soundstage with more bass control. The consensus though is that more people prefer the 501's but their reasons seem vague. Does anyone prefer the 402 and if so why? I am currently using maggie 3.6's, with a ma7000 integrated, in a room over 750 sq. ft. I checked with Chuck Hinton at McIntosh and to his suprise the 402 and the 501's have the same amount of current. Looks do not enter in to my decision. I am prepared to spend the $$ if the 501's are really better. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I use the MC-402 with the 3.6's and get superb sound. I have heard the 501's as well in a direct comparison with the 402. At regular listening levels I could not hear any difference. If you are buying "New" from a dealer my guess is the most influence will lean towards the 501's for the bigger & better sale.

If you want to spend 501 type money give a listen to the MC-2301's mono tube amps as well. See if they do the trick for your maggies.
HiFiFIle, why don't you list the 3.6's with your system? You show using Merlins? Did you get rid of the Maggies, or just buy them?

Once again I have tried many amps with Maggies, and like many on here have found that McIntosh amps are not a match.

They are great amps, and sound fantastic with many other speakers, just not with Maggies.
IMO I agree with Macdadtexas..Pass labs on the top of your list with the 3.6 speakers..McIntosh is just too muddy and slow
It's been a very long time since I heard anyone descibe Mac amps as "slow"...but to each their own.

There are many folks out there enjoying Mac gear with Maggies, and while I do like the Pass amplifiers, I would pair up some Classe monoblocks with Maggies long before the Pass.
I've heared Slow from one of my dealers............I think it's is in direct contract to IN YOUR FACE amplifiers.

Mac all the way........